Re­searchers fo­cus on man­groves at Low Isles to help with co­ral plight

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

FIND­ING corals where they shouldn’t be, such as in man­groves, pro­vides hope for the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Marine bi­ol­o­gist Dr Emma Camp and her team from the Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy Syd­ney will sail from Port Dou­glas on Satur­day in search of corals in un­usual en­vi­ron­ments.

“In New Cale­do­nia where wa­ters are hot, acidic and low in oxy­gen, close to what is pre­dicted in 2100, we found 20 species of reef form­ing corals thriv­ing in the man­grove-like en­vi­ron­ment,” Dr Camp said.

Her re­search has po­ten­tial for bet­ter reef man­age­ment.

A grant from the Na­tional Geo­graphic So­ci­ety Waitt Foun­da­tion will al­low Dr Camp to search for man­grov­e­like sys­tems hous­ing corals around Low Isles all the way up to Lizard Is­land.

“No one’s ever looked along the Bar­rier Reef for the ex­is­tence of these habi­tats in terms of how they could sup­port corals,” Dr Camp told the “We need to start think­ing out­side of the box, we need to start look­ing at ar­eas where na­ture has adapted and see if that will help us.”

Dr Camp and her team will work to­ward de­ter­min­ing why and how these corals are form­ing. “We’re re­ally ex­cited to have this ex­plo­ration and we’re thank­ful to Na­tional Geo­graphic and Waitt Foun­da­tion to al­low this and we’re also thank­ful to Wave­length char­ters in Port Dou­glas.”

Man­grove corals in New Cale­do­nia

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